I also relate to the character of Rosemary Woodhouse. She was a people pleaser, wanting to fit in; trusting in others and what they thought instead of herself. To me, this story is about women pleasing others to fit in and sacrificing instinct. Even though I want a different ending for Rosemary, I don’t see her as weak, because she eventually finds her courage. It is a huge lesson in trusting your instincts and doing what makes you happy in a larger sense.
There is also a mythology with the film that has stood the test of time. It is probably one of the few films that followed the book so closely. Director Roman Polanski was said to be obsessive about staying true to the novel, and I love that his meticulous attention to detail honored Levin’s story. The tension, the sophisticated simplicity of the filmmaking, the incredible performances and the scoring all create a beautifully paranoia-inducing film. I read that Levin suffered some regret at the popularity the book and film brought to the subject of the supernatural, which is a shame because that’s the whole point! I get a certain forbidden glee with the knowledge that the devil lives at the Bramford, and I celebrate the story because at the very least, it is well-crafted horror that has stood the test of time and I can watch the film from beginning to end and still get chills every time.
|Pixie & Steve Niles|
How would you describe the Toronto horror film scene/community?
I think the horror scene here is very healthy but severely underfunded. From what I’ve gathered at the festivals I’ve attended, most of the productions are independent, and most of the filmmakers have to rely on their own money, some film grants from the government, fundraising campaigns, and crews that work on a voluntary basis. I think as a result of this, it’s a tight-knit community and filmmakers get a ton of support from each other and fans. Along with TIFF Midnight Madness, there are also two major film festivals here: The Toronto After Dark and Blood in the Snow Festivals that work really hard at showcasing independent horror films. It’s great for fans to see films that have made a splash at international festivals like The Babadook alongside hometown shorts and feature films where these filmmakers get a chance to show their talents and build a following that may lead to bigger opportunities.